New book from mega talented author, Jude Houghton. Here is another delicious offering. See my review of the first book, Autonomy below.
It has been quite a while since I read a strictly science fiction dystopia so I was intrigued when I opened the ARC of ‘Autonomy’ by Jude Houghtton, to be published by Grimbold Books. The palpable atmosphere of the futuristic age portrayed is distinct and unmistakable. At times I was reminded of George Orwell’s 1984, while at others, shades of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World came to mind, but above all the plotting and the multiple threads gave me a sense of Frank Herbert’s Dune. This book is unique unto itself and I compare because it sits right up there with the masters of science fiction.
Imagine a world where the only resource left is people, billions of people, who are dependent on a product called skaatch for their nutrition. It is made from jellyfish and bugs; all that keeps body and soul together, unless a person happens to be in the ruling sector under the umbrella of specialness and then everything changes, including the food.
Inevitably there will be a rebellion, but the way it is conducted and who is drawn into the fight for a sort of freedom is a whole different ballgame. The fundamental core of humanity is dissected in such a way that it becomes almost binary as there are two choices if those who would be warriors can win through. There is something apocryphal in the undercurrent, drawing resonance to the horrendous consequences. This brings to mind part of a poem from Oman where Father Brennan is describing the assent of the antichrist. ‘From the eternal sea he rises, creating armies on either shore, turning man against his brother, until man exists no more.’
Like ‘Dune’ this is a big book, and every pages is just as worth reading. I think this just may be my favorite book of 2015. Highly recommended.